While everyone will remember those calls, I would like to point out that West Point got some favorable calls (or no calls) in last night's game as well that they will not document. A couple being Hunter Roth throwing a laser to first to attempt to end the 5th inning that every single person believed he beat out the runner to the bag but the runner was called safe. In the 6th inning, West Point's catcher was lined up in the opposite batter's box and did not have one foot behind the plate - which is a Balk on the Catcher - which ironically after the pitcher hit the spot the catcher had set up on argued that the pitch was Strike 3 causing him to get the warning prior to getting tossed in the 8th which I will get to shortly.
In the top of the 8th inning, West Point had the go-ahead runner on 3rd in a 10-10 game. The Green Wave attempted a Suicide Squeeze bunt play. The bunt the batter got down but Jack McClure charged on the play and threw a laser home to Henry Webb and was able to tag the runner out. Webb had his left foot blocking the plate never allowing the runner to make it to the plate on a slide. The play appeared to have the runner making it home with time to spare but because Webb's left foot had blocked the plate and the runner's feet slid right to his left foot, he never actually made it to the plate.
The Head Coach immediately raced to the home plate umpire where it wasn't 5 seconds before he was tossed from the game. About 30 seconds later, an assistant was also tossed. I (and many Charger fans sitting in the proper bleachers) had a very good view of the play, (and when it gets shown on TV on Channel 97 Metrocast - which it was tape-delayed, you will have another view of it) the West Point runner was clearly out on the play never touching home plate.
Now in the bottom of the 8th, Oxford had runners on 2nd & 1st with the game winning run on 2nd base. What was probably a mis-call by the coaching staff had Josh Gibbs (pinch-running for Roth) and Jason Barber at 1st on a double steal with no outs. The throw and tag beat Gibbs out by a few yards, but the second base umpire - who was not in position - called him safe. This prompted another (this time, well-deserved) argument by what was left of the West Point coaching staff but without an ejection this time. Just about the entire park knew Gibbs was out on the play.
However, that one play did not decide the game. Why is that you ask?
Well for one, Gibbs - the runner that really should have been called out on the play - wound up not scoring the winning run. For two, West Point blew an 8-run lead in the last two innings, a lead no one should ever give up (just ask Ridgeland and the 6-run lead they blew in the playoffs last year).
Had Gibbs been called out, there would be a runner on 2nd base with 1 out with Chadwick Lamar at the plate. Lamar was Intentionally Walked afterwards but there is no guarantee he would not have reached base even had Lamar continued his at bat. So let's assume Lamar did anyways. That puts 2nd & 1st with 1 out with Michael Bianco at the plate. Bianco wound up grounding out to the pitcher (which instead got Gibbs to be tagged out halfway home by the pitcher), so there would be 2nd & 3rd with 2 outs. With 9-hole hitter Aundrel Turner up, I doubt West Point would Intentionally Walk him on to load the bases for the leadoff hitter Webb on deck - but I don't think it would matter. The first pitch thrown to him made it to the fence behind the plate to score Barber from third.
There is also that 7-spot Oxford put up in the 6th inning; it was not like West Point didn't implode on themselves late, they had several chances to put this game away. Oxford didn't quit, finally getting back to what they were doing to win on their current 9-game winning streak and caught West Point being lazy and losing their composure the last couple innings.
To say the umpires cost West Point the game is false. A LOT of things cost West Point the game. The Green Wave hit 5 Oxford Batters, walked another two (and then another 3 Intentionally), had 5 Wild Pitches plus a Passed Ball, the majority of those in the last three innings. West Point did have a throwing error allowing runners to advance one base but it would wind up not affecting them in that inning it occurred on. Let's not forget Oxford knocking them around for 8 hits as well. All of those things got to West Point on their entire team as they lost their composure late that also contributed to their implosion - something Oxford has not done the entire season.
The players - like they always should - decided the game last night. West Point allowed a few calls to get in their head and that made them lose their composure. Oxford made the plays they needed to late, even though for the first 5 innings, they looked like the error-prone team that plagued them during the first couple weeks of March.
Being a referee in soccer that has had to make a few calls that did in fact help decide the outcome (mostly in the correct sense, but once in the wrong sense), they DID NOT decide this game - a Wild Pitch thrown by a player got the game winning run home - where how the runner got around the bases was not based on a questionable call - is what decided this game. Some may not agree with me on this, but this is my blog - and my disclaimer is on the home page if you want to read that.